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How should we split our time between Yosemite & the Coast?

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Southeast Texas
posts: 45
reviews: 11
How should we split our time between Yosemite & the Coast?

My family of 4 (kids 13 & 9) will be vacationing in California in late July/early August. We will be spending 7 nights and would like input on how to split that time between Yosemite and the Coast (Carmel/Monterey peninsula). We are thinking that we'll split 4 nights and then 3 nights, but my question is which area should we spend the extra day?

We enjoy sight-seeing, short hikes, and wildlife viewing. We're not much into shopping/dining, but more about experiencing things that can't at home.

Also, weather could be a factor too. We want to escape the hot Texas temperatures while there. Will we have cooler temperatures on the coast?

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 8,862
reviews: 74
1. Re: How should we split our time between Yosemite & the Coast?

I think this is a question with no wrong answer :-) The deciding factor may be lodging availibility in Yosemite - lodging is tight there, esspecially during the summer. You may have to take what you can get in Yosemite. Lodging in the Monterey area will fill up too, but there are more options, so you can work around whatever you get for Yosemite.

As for weather - yes, it will be cool on the coast. Bring a jacket. Expect highs in the 60s and 70s, with possible 80s if we get a heat wave. Lows should be in the 50s and 60s. You wil probably have some coastal fog in the mornings, but it generally burns off mid-morning.

In Yosemite, temperatures will be warm, but we don't have humidity, so even when it is warm, it isn't sticky hot. Yosemite valley is at about 4000 ft elevation and then the high country is of course, higher. The higher the elevation, the cooler it will be, esspecially at night.

The warmest temperatures you will likely experience are on your drive through the central valley between Yosemite and the coast. Temperatures can easily top 100 in the summer.

Monterey Peninsula...
posts: 1,731
2. Re: How should we split our time between Yosemite & the Coast?

I agree there's no wrong answer. I can tell you that the Monterey Peninsula has plenty to offer and you can easily fill 3 or 4 days with activities here. If you're into outdoor activities, and short hikes, this page on my website lists several wonderful parks in the area, many of which get overlooked by tourists. www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/walking.htm

You may also find my discussion of local beaches useful www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/beaches.htm

Yes, the California coast north of Santa Barbara can be fairly cool during the summer, even when it's fairly hot 20-30 miles inland. On rare occasions, the winds will come from the east and heat up the coast, but for most of the summer the forecast goes like this: "Night and morning fog and low clouds, highs mid 60s, lows mid 50s."

The Monterey Peninsula has a wide variety of microclimates. For example, Pacific Grove can be socked in with fog all day, while next door Monterey will be sunny. Sometimes I've seen Carmel beach covered with fog, while the business district, just a few blocks away, will be sunny. It's like Forrest Gump's chocolate box. And it's why locals always carry a sweater, even during the summer. www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/weather.htm

-Mr. Toy


Monterey Peninsula...
posts: 1,731
3. Re: How should we split our time between Yosemite & the Coast?

By the way, the Carmel Bach Festival (July 13-27) may still be going on while you're here. It will affect room availability and prices, particularly in Carmel. Carmel restaurants will also be a little busier than usual. I don't know if your family is into classical music, but if you are, you'll want to consider attending at least one concert. http://www.bachfestival.org/

-Mr. Toy


4. Re: How should we split our time between Yosemite & the Coast?

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